How are you spending the time between MSI and the Summer Split? Do you get any downtime?
I get a week off, but I feel like don’t deserve it, so I am constantly playing as much as I possibly can to prepare my mental tolerance to do better in competitive play.
Heading into MSI what was your perspective on the Meta of the event? Do you feel you prepared correctly in terms of picks/bans and what to play?
Yes, we just played very badly. I feel like the only thing we could pick up would be Rumble top and Urgot bot. something we’ve tried before.
Expectations were high heading into the event. What were your personal expectations? What factors played most into the teams lackluster performance? Do you think it’s an issue with preparation? How much of a factor was “tilting” and can you expand on tilt in competitive play?
I think it was 60% Tilt and 40% everything else. When we got first blooded we lost almost all of our positive mindset and hopes of winning.
It seems as if you should have lane swapped against in your game against Fnatic and kept the 1v1 against AHQ. What were the reasons for playing these the way you did and what could you have done better?
In the 2v1 I could have not died. In the 1v1 I could have called for Santorin to protect me from dives. I played like this because I feel like I didn’t play enough solo queue before the event, and didn’t work hard enough on the important factors of communication.
Fnatic, 6 top bans. How did this affect you and did you expect it at all? Were there other champions you could have played and simply didn’t?
I played Gnar a huge amount of times so it didn’t really affect me. What did affect is me not being on a specific tank champion and doing well. But it didn’t really matter because my play this tournament regardless of champion was pretty bad.
Instead of asking “what went wrong”, what went right? Despite the obvious errors in game, was there anything you felt the team managed to do correctly in the face of losing?
Nothing went right for us.
The popular opinion is that you were simply left on an island to fend for yourself in most of the games. You have stated this simply isn’t the case. Can you elaborate a bit on how those situations (being dived/camped) could have gone differently? Is it as cut and dry as you not getting the help, or is there a communication issue?
It’s all about the communication and if I don’t ask for it, then I deserve to be dove for not asking from them to be there instead of saying “I’m going to get dove here.”
Moving forward, what is your immediate next step and what do you think you need to work on most individually? As a team?
Communication, positive mindset, and for me being comfortable playing league while communicating against godly players.
In terms of overall strength, is NA as far behind as it seems? While it is quite far off, how do you believe each region will stack up at worlds? Do you believe TSM can win worlds?
It is the same as fans think. For us winning worlds, this is the best lineup we’ve ever had so if we had a chance of winning worlds before it is at its highest percentage now.
How much do out of game activities affect in game performance and what have you been doing outside of the game?
Playing too much CS:GO and GTA 5 kept my mind off of the terrors of solo queue. Which was a mistake because I need to feel that pain to be used to playing on stage comfortably.
You’ve played professionally for over 4 years, and have been to every world championship. Have you considered retirement? In your mind, when are you “done”?
I’ve considered retirement since last year before we beat c9 for the summer split. I felt like I couldn’t do anything to carry, then when we played there my performance was surprisingly really good. I feel like I played better than I ever expected myself to play. My mindset changed for worlds and I dedicated myself to trying to do more for my team. I don’t want to be a burden and if there is a better top laner then me available I would gladly give up my spot if it increases TSM’s chances of winning worlds.
How do you deal with criticism? Has there ever been a point where it’s gotten to you to the point that it affects your in game performance?
In my rookie years yeah it did a bit. Nowadays it doesn’t it’s just motivation for me to do better to prove people wrong. But it does apply some pressure to my game which could hurt my play, still not sure myself.
Looking at the summer split, who holds the top 3 slots at the end of the season? Who will attend worlds?
TSM, and whoever else they don’t matter.
Any thoughts on the newest additions to the LCS, TDK and NME? Do you expect them to perform well?
I’m looking forward to see how well Seraph plays. When he first joined I felt like he didn’t deserve to be in the LCS, but as time goes on it is inspirational to see players climb back in through their own resolve and team.
Do you watch the EU LCS? What teams in EU are the strongest in your opinion and is there anyone you want to play against specifically?
I’ve always wanted to play against SK but we never got the chance. They seemed to be in a slump for playoffs because of team synergy I’m guessing. FNATIC is obviously the strongest.
What champions do you want to see return to competitive play? Are there any champions you wish you could play more often?
I play a really mean Olaf. I never got to show it at season 2 because I never thought he was as OP back then but my Olaf was world class at the time in my opinion at least.
What is your thought on the current top Meta and state of the game in general? What has been your favorite Meta to play in so far?
Top lane is never fun unless you’re carrying the game.
Who is the hardest top laner to play against in the NA LCS?
Impact and Quas.
What is your current favorite champion in general?
Jax and Singed.
Tim Kimbirk is a content creator and interviewer for SoloMid. You can find him in the depths of solo queue, or on twitter talking about eSports.